The Festivities Begin!

LA Times Festival of BooksSo this weekend the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books takes place. This is a two day celebration of books that takes place on the UCLA campus that is a joy to attend each year. I’ve blogged about it many times in the past and you can look at previous posts from the list below. The website for the festival is here.

As you may recall, the night before the festival – that would be tonight – there is a ceremony to announce the winners of the LA Times Book Prizes, with a great reception at the end with lots of interesting people and (often) great conversation. The list of nominated books can be found here, and it is interesting again this year. Here, for example is the science and technology list:

Marcia Bartusiak, The Day We Found the Universe ;
Graham Farmelo, The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom ;
Bill Streever, Cold: Adventures in the Worlds’ Frozen Places ;
Richard Wrangham, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human;
Carol Kaesuk Yoon, Naming Nature: The Clash Between Instinct and Science.

Farmelo’s book is high on my list since I’m a huge Dirac fan and want to see how he describes him. I’m bound to learn a lot too. Note, interestingly, that the book I mentioned a few weeks ago, Richard Holmes’ “Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science” is in the History section.

You may recall that I’ve been to some of those awards ceremonies in the past, and they were certainly a lot of fun. Here’s a couple of earlier posts here and here, with, among the highlights for me, chocolate fountains and blocks of ice with old typewriters embedded within! (Yes, I can be very shallow at times.)

These hard times mean that the very lavish event at UCLA’s Royce Hall does not take place any more, but there is an event tonight for the announcements down at the Los Angeles Times building. I bet it’ll be interesting, although I doubt there’ll be any chocolate fountains. I hope people will nevertheless manage somehow.

-cvj

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